Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11th-Wahweap Campground- Glen Canyon

Sorry for the few days of no updates. We spent the last 2.5 days on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and their facilities have no facilities! In addition, we have been going from dawn until late.
On the morning of the 9th, I woke the boys up at 6:30 and asked if they still wanted to hike the Narrows. They did! We ate a quick and quiet breakfast and jumped on a shuttle bus to the end of the canyon. The first part of the trail was paved and meandered through hanging gardens, river views and the narrowing canyon. At the end, there was a small set of steps that led to the shore of the Virgin River. We changed from our hiking boots to our water shoes and stepped into the river. The 'Narrows' trail is basically the river. You follow it through the canyon as far as you are willing to go. I believe it goes 24 miles to get out of the canyon to the town beyond. At first it was ankle deep and then knee. We hit a few banks here and there. As you progress, the banks get fewer and fewer and there are some very deep sections (see pictures of the boys up to their chests!). We only went in about a mile or so as we had to get back to meet the girls. It was a really cool trail and one to put on the list to do more later on. After meeting up with the girls, we proceeded to the Zion Lodge gift shop so the boys could purchase their 'I hiked the Narrows' T-shirts. After lunch, we hit the road to the Grand Canyon.
We arrived at the campground 5:30. We had a site that was less than 100 feet from the rim of the Grand Canyon! Needless to say, that was pretty cool. We cooked steaks over the fire and later on, read a book around the fire before putting the kids to bed. On Friday, we hiked the rim of the canyon over to the North Rim Lodge and visitors center. The canyon is, as the others were, almost indescribable. So vast, so beautiful, so colorful, so awesome. We sat on the patio at the lodge for quite some time just taking it all in. The trail from our campground to the lodge was about 1.5 miles. The first time we hiked it, almost from the beginning, we had to coax Anna along. By the time we got to the lodge, she declared she was not hiking anymore and that this was the worst vacation she had been on. Later on, when Deb took her to the campground store (maybe .15 miles) she had to bribe her with a soda. After Anna was sitting at the store drinking her sprite, she declared this was the best vacation ever and that she was a great hiker. Deb went back in to the store and bought her a t-shirt with a picture of Brighty the donkey on it (Anna thought it was a horse). Deb got a chuckle out of it.
The kids attended a few Ranger talks and earned their Jr Ranger badges from the Grand Canyon.
That night, we had our first RV incident. Since there was no electric hook-up, the batteries were weakening. I had tried turning on the generator that morning and it would not start. I figured we would be fine. Well, by 8:30 PM, the lights were dim and anything electrical was failing fast. Soon, the carbon monoxide detectors started chirping every 2 minutes due to low power. We were outside of 'generator' hours and I could not get it going anyway. So...while Deb was doing laundry, I decided to pack up the kids and go for a drive to re-charge the batteries. Well, lucky I caught Deb just finishing. She jumped in and we headed out on the really dark and desolate canyon roads. It took about 20 minutes to get the battery charged enough to get the generator started. By then, we headed back and parked at the bathrooms and brushed teeth, leaving the generator going. We finally returned to our site around 10:30 with some grumpy kids. We got them settled and sat by the fire for a little while watching the moon coming up. This morning, we hiked a few more hours and then hit the road to Glen Canyon. On the way we hit our 'favorite' store- Walmart SuperCenter. The kids are beginning to like this store as they have stopped asking if they can stay in the RV. We stopped at the Dam first. That is one huge dam. Almost as big as the Hoover dam, it is 710' high. Lake Powell was created from damming the Colorado River here and instead of endless canyons and slot canyons, you have 186 mile long lake with countless coves and canyons. The campground is truly a desert campground. A few small trees per site and the RV's lined up one next to the other. You get your small spot of desert with a grill, fire pit, picnic table and few square feet of stone/sand. it is really not that bad. We have a fantastic view of the desert and lake and they have wifi! One of the boys commented that this was the best site yet because the restrooms have some sort of maze and they were having a water fight down there.
Tonight we had another one of my special creations for dinner- hot dogs wrapped in Bisquick batter cooked over the fire on a stick. Yes, hot dogs are bad for you I know, but we had our chips and fresh salsa first, our yellow peppers second and then the main course. Deb almost didn't eat, but I cooked one up for her special all golden brown and she actually liked it. For dessert, Deb's idea was banana boats- take a banana with a peel on it, slice it down one side, stuff it with choc chips and marshmallows, wrap it in foil and put it in the fire. The kids ate them up. Oh, I am just remembering that I should have opened the can of B&M baked beans to go with it. Oh well. Maybe for breakfast....

One more visual for you. As I sit out by the fire and type this, Deb is sitting next to me scanning the area with a flashlight on the lookout for black widow spiders and rattle snakes. When the kids and I went to the ranger program tonight, she told us there were lots of black widows around and another camper said she jumped over a rattler in the parking lot the other night.
Over and out for tonight. Enjoy the pics; panoramic of Zion, kids and I heading into the Narrows, the kids in the Narrows up to their chests, pic of kids on patio of North Rim, kids around statue of Brighty the mule, us at our site here in Glen Canyon.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun! The Narrows look/sound like a challenging hike. I've never been out there, but you make it sound beautiful, and the pictures are nice. It is good to hear that everyone is enjoying themselves. Have fun while you are on vacation, and be careful.